Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 10.7% in Fourth Quarter of 2020 and 4.8% for the Year

Continued Consumer Demand Results in Highest Global PC Market Growth in a Decade

World­wi­de PC ship­ments tota­led 79.4 mil­li­on units in the fourth quar­ter of 2020, a 10.7% incre­a­se from the fourth quar­ter of 2019, accord­ing to preli­mi­na­ry results by Gart­ner, Inc. For the year, PC ship­ments reached 275 mil­li­on units in 2020, a 4.8% incre­a­se from 2019 and the hig­hest growth in ten years.“The world­wi­de PC mar­ket saw a strong finish to 2020, record­ing a third con­se­cu­ti­ve quar­ter of year over year growth, alt­hough the­re con­ti­nued to be sup­ply shor­ta­ges due to this high demand,” said Mika­ko Kitaga­wa, rese­arch direc­tor at Gart­ner. “Robust con­su­mer PC demand again dro­ve sales, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in regi­ons whe­re governments main­tain stay-at-home orders as the COVID-19 pan­de­mic per­sists. Pri­or to 2020, con­su­mers had been shif­ting to a pho­ne-first focus, yet the pan­de­mic rever­sed this trend. PCs have resur­fa­ced as an essen­ti­al device as con­su­mers, inclu­ding youn­ger child­ren, are rely­ing on them to for work, school, socia­li­zing and be enter­tai­ned from their homes.

Busi­ness PC spen­ding was again wea­ker this quar­ter, as the urgent purcha­ses for remo­te work pea­ked ear­lier in the year. Howe­ver, in cer­tain regi­ons like Chi­na whe­re eco­no­mic reco­very from the pan­de­mic has alrea­dy begun, busi­ness growth was slight­ly stronger.”

While Gart­ner does not inclu­de Chrome­book ship­ments in its tra­di­tio­nal PC mar­ket results, the fourth quar­ter of 2020 was ano­t­her remar­kab­le peri­od of growth for Chrome­books, with ship­ments incre­a­sing around 200% year over year to reach 11.7 mil­li­on units. In 2020, Chrome­book ship­ments incre­a­sed over 80% to total near­ly 30 mil­li­on units, lar­ge­ly due to demand from the North Ame­ri­can edu­ca­ti­on market.

The top three ven­dors in the world­wi­de PC mar­ket remai­ned unch­an­ged from the pre­vious quar­ter, alt­hough Leno­vo con­ti­nued to widen its lead over HP. Reflec­ting the trend seen throughout 2020, con­su­mer-ori­en­ted ven­dors such as Apple, Acer and Asus gai­ned mar­ket share (see Table 1).

Table 1. Preli­mi­na­ry World­wi­de PC Ven­dor Unit Ship­ment Esti­ma­tes for 4Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Com­pa­ny 4Q20 Ship­ments 4Q20 Mar­ket Share (%) 4Q19 Ship­ments 4Q19 Mar­ket Share (%) 4Q20-4Q19 Growth (%)
Leno­vo  21,491 27.1  17,713 24.7 21.3
HP Inc.  15,683 19.8  16,155 22.5 -2.9
Dell  13,199 16.6  12,127 16.9 8.8
Apple  6,893 8.7  5,250 7.3 31.3
Acer Group  4,741 6.0  4,035 5.6 17.5
ASUS  4,570 5.8  3,975 5.5 15.0
Others  12,813 16.1  12,493 17.4 2.6
Total  79,392 100.0  71,749 100.0 10.7

Notes: Data inclu­des desk-based PCs, note­book PCs and ultra­mo­bi­le pre­mi­ums (such as Micro­soft Sur­face), but not Chrome­books or iPads. All data is esti­ma­ted based on a preli­mi­na­ry stu­dy. Final esti­ma­tes will be sub­ject to chan­ge. The sta­tis­tics are based on ship­ments sel­ling into chan­nels. Num­bers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gart­ner (Janu­a­ry 2021)

Regio­nal Overview

The U.S. PC mar­ket had ano­t­her strong quar­ter, regis­tering 20.6% growth year over year. Des­pi­te eco­no­mic and poli­ti­cal dis­rup­ti­ons in the regi­on throughout the fourth quar­ter of 2020, the con­su­mer PC mar­ket con­ti­nued to per­form well, led by sur­ging mobi­le PC demand. For the full year, the U.S. PC mar­ket expe­ri­en­ced its hig­hest growth in 20 years.

Though many sta­tes did not re-issue stay-home orders until Decem­ber, U.S. con­su­mers con­ti­nued to lar­ge­ly avoid tra­vel, while many U.S. schools were eit­her clo­sed or ran hybrid online class­rooms,” said Ms. Kitaga­wa. “The­re­fo­re, con­su­mer spen­ding shifted to items that could enhan­ce life at home, inclu­ding PCs.”

HP secu­red the top spot in the U.S. PC mar­ket based on ship­ments with 28% mar­ket share. Dell fol­lo­wed with 25.2% of the U.S. PC mar­ket share (see Table 2).

Table 2. Preli­mi­na­ry U.S. PC Ven­dor Unit Ship­ment Esti­ma­tes for 4Q20 (Thousands of Units)

Com­pa­ny 4Q20 Ship­ments 4Q20 Mar­ket Share (%) 4Q19 Ship­ments 4Q19 Mar­ket Share (%) 4Q20-4Q19 Growth (%)
HP Inc.  5,323 28.0  4,884 31.0 9.0
Dell  4,792 25.2  4,192 26.6 14.3
Leno­vo  3,460 18.2  2,458 15.6 40.8
Apple  2,713 14.3  2,055 13.0 32.0
Micro­soft  1,010 5.3  836 5.3 20.8
Others  1,730 9.1  1,352 8.6 28.0
Total  19,029 100.0  15,778 100.0 20.6

Notes: Data inclu­des desk-based PCs, note­book PCs and ultra­mo­bi­le pre­mi­ums (such as Micro­soft Sur­face), but not Chrome­books or iPads. All data is esti­ma­ted based on a preli­mi­na­ry stu­dy. Final esti­ma­tes will be sub­ject to chan­ge. The sta­tis­tics are based on ship­ments sel­ling into chan­nels. Num­bers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gart­ner (Janu­a­ry 2021)

Total PC ship­ments in EMEA reached 23 mil­li­on units in the fourth quar­ter of 2020, an incre­a­se of 6.9% year over year, while Asia Paci­fic reached 25 mil­li­on units, an 8.3% year over year growth. Con­su­mer demand in both EMEA and Asia Paci­fic coun­tries was par­ti­cu­lar­ly strong. Sta­bi­li­zed busi­ness PC spen­ding due to China’s eco­no­mic reco­very also hel­ped dri­ve the strong growth in Asia Pacific.

COVID-19 Dri­ves Hig­hest Con­su­mer PC Demand in 10 Years

World­wi­de PC ship­ments tota­led 275 mil­li­on units in 2020, a 4.8% incre­a­se from 2019 (see Table 3). This was the hig­hest annu­al growth for the world­wi­de PC mar­ket sin­ce 2010.

Table 3. Preli­mi­na­ry World­wi­de PC Ven­dor Unit Ship­ment Esti­ma­tes for 2020 (Thousands of Units)

Com­pa­ny 2020 Ship­ments 2020 Mar­ket Share (%) 2019 Ship­ments 2019 Mar­ket Share (%) 2020–2019 Growth (%)
Leno­vo 68,507 24.9 63,182 24.1 8.4
HP Inc. 58,357 21.2 57,949 22.1 0.7
Dell 45,029 16.4 44,095 16.8 2.1
Apple 22,454 8.2 18,337 7.0 22.5
Acer Group 16,264 5.9 14,743 5.6 10.3
Asus 16,424 6.0 14,449 5.5 13.7
Others 48,111 17.5 49,797 19.0 -3.4
Total 275,147 100.0 262,552 100.0 4.8

Notes: Data inclu­des desk-based PCs, note­book PCs and ultra­mo­bi­le pre­mi­ums (such as Micro­soft Sur­face), but not Chrome­books or iPads. All data is esti­ma­ted based on a preli­mi­na­ry stu­dy. Final esti­ma­tes will be sub­ject to chan­ge. The sta­tis­tics are based on ship­ments sel­ling into chan­nels. Num­bers may not add up to totals shown due to rounding.
Source: Gart­ner (Janu­a­ry 2021)

Des­pi­te some sup­ply chain issu­es at the begin­ning of 2020, COVID-19 cou­pled with con­sis­tent con­su­mer demand crea­ted tre­men­dous growth oppor­tu­nities for PCs throughout the year,” said Ms. Kitaga­wa. “This momen­tum is likely to con­ti­nue through at least the first half of 2021, but it remains to be seen if it will sus­tain in the post-pan­de­mic era as it will depend on the per­ma­nen­cy of the chan­ges dri­ving demand. For instance, online edu­ca­ti­on may con­ti­nue even after schools open, con­su­mers may still buy gro­ce­ries online, and some busi­nes­ses may con­ti­nue full- or part-time remo­te work. If the­se sce­n­a­ri­os per­sist, then PCs will return to con­su­mers’ dai­ly lives as an essen­ti­al device.”

The­se results are preli­mi­na­ry. Final sta­tis­tics will be avail­ab­le soon to cli­ents of Gartner’s PC Quar­ter­ly Sta­tis­tics World­wi­de by Regi­on pro­gram. This pro­gram offers a com­pre­hen­si­ve and time­ly pic­tu­re of the world­wi­de PC mar­ket, allowing pro­duct plan­ning, dis­tri­bu­ti­on, mar­ke­ting and sales orga­niz­a­ti­ons to keep abre­ast of key issu­es and their future impli­ca­ti­ons around the globe.

Learn more about how to lead orga­niz­a­ti­ons through the dis­rup­ti­on of coro­na­vi­rus in the Gart­ner coro­na­vi­rus resour­ce cen­ter, a collec­tion of com­pli­men­ta­ry Gart­ner rese­arch and webi­nars to help orga­niz­a­ti­ons respond, mana­ge, and pre­pa­re for the rapid spread and glo­bal impact of COVID-19.

About Gartner

Gart­ner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s lea­ding rese­arch and advi­so­ry com­pa­ny and a mem­ber of the S&P 500. We equip busi­ness lea­ders with indis­pensable insights, advice and tools to achie­ve their mis­si­on-cri­ti­cal prio­ri­ties today and build the suc­cess­ful orga­niz­a­ti­ons of tomorrow.

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